A good system is designed to operate even when the data hasn’t been properly maintained.
Garbage in, garbage out, Dave. It doesn’t matter how good your system is.
And what happens when you want to do a mail merge using the HR system
You have a full/legal name field and a preferred name field. Problem solved.
I’m sure an HR person could come up with several dozen other examples of instances where they need to differentiate between given and family names.
Our employee master file has over 100,000 records in it. The HR department gave up using names to differentiate records long ago, if it ever did. When they do have to use names, the current first-middle-last name system fails them because they are dealing with people who have five or six names, and they are unsure which is the “first” or “last” name. It causes them to have to do multiple searches. And God help them if the name is misspelled or spelled differently on either (or both) ends (very common with Arabic names). This is where a soundex search on a single field would come in handy.
If we came from a culture where there is no concept of a first and last name our HR department would still operate as efficiently as any other.